David A. Lake (UCSD): Building Legitimate States After Civil Wars: Order, Authority, and International Trusteeship. A review of Aid Effectiveness in Africa: Developing Trust between Donors and Governments by Phyllis R. Pomerantz. Nothing much works in Somalia, but three things function with amazing smoothness: the commerce of khat, an impressive system of cellphone networks, and the business of international money transfers. A review of The Devil Came on Horseback: Bearing Witness to the Genocide in Darfur by Brian Steidle and Gretchen Steidle Wallace. A review of Modern Algeria: The Origins and Development of a Nation by John Ruedy.
No middle way in the Middle East: A review of Summer Rain by Annette Levy Willard and The 33-Day War by Gilbert Achcar and Michel Warschawski. Salman Rushdie, Thomas Friedman, Nicholas Kristof and Mansour al-Nogaidan are among the well-intentioned people who have called for an Islamic Reformation. They should be careful what they wish for. From City Journal, a review of Defending the West: A Critique of Edward Said’s Orientalism by Ibn Warraq; and Theodore Dalrymple on How Societies Commit Suicide: Scots and Italians surrender to Islam. The Warsaw pact: One is the president, the other is the prime minister. The Kaczynski twins run Poland with a single, seemingly xenophobic mind. Are the brothers turning the country into the laughing stock of Europe?
From Trinidad & Tobago Express, an article on the politics of plural identities. Elisabeth Young-Bruehl on Reading Arendt in Caracas: A student movement influenced by Hannah Arendt is emerging in Venezuela. What do they think of the Bolivarian Revolution? Glamorous Argentine first lady Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner wants to become the country's next president. As wife of the current president, she has a lot in common with Hillary Clinton: Both rose to power in the provinces, both are attorneys and both are conscious of the power they possess.
From Foreign Affairs, John Edwards on Reengaging with the World. Rudy, the Anti-Statesman: Fred Kaplan on Giuliani's loopy foreign-policy essay. Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer's The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy is not even in bookstores, but already anxieties have surfaced about the backlash it is stirring. The introduction to Blind Oracles: Intellectuals and War from Kennan to Kissinger by Bruce Kuklick. A review of Twice as Good: Condoleezza Rice and Her Path to Power by Marcus Mabry.
The New Myth About Climate Change: Corrupt, tyrannical governments—not changes in the Earth’s climate—will be to blame for the coming resource wars. Water wars, myths and realities: To what degree are fears of geopolitical chaos over water scarcity justified? (and part 2). The new dirty energy: It's big, it's growing — and it's bad for the environment. Inside the other alternative-energy movement. Here's an article on biofuels—and all you need to know for a bar discussion. Sins of Omission: As the FAA seeks to expand air travel, is it giving concerns about aviation’s effects on climate change the attention they deserve?
Richard Delgado (Pittsburgh): You Are Living in a Gold Rush. Surviving the markets: The new financial order is undergoing its harshest test. It will not be pretty, but it is necessary. A review of Pandemonium: How Globalization and Trade Are Putting the World at Risk by Andrew Nikiforuk. The introduction to The Wealth of Networks: How Social Production Transforms Markets and Freedom by Yochai Benkler. Given the tremendous run-up of debt in recent years, there's a good chance that today's credit crunch will turn out to be more than just a wisp of cloud in an otherwise blue sky. Debt again: The mortgage crisis has surprising roots that go back decades. Why we need to rethink how we buy our homes. You've heard about the home-loan bust, but do you know your derivatives from your tranches? Read Salon's easy guide to understanding the current market freakout (and a response: Andrew Leonard is "uncritically Heideggerian" and of "reiterating the strategic misunderstanding of the reformist left").
From Philosophy Now, an interview with Christopher Phillips, author of Socrates in Love; more on Richard Rorty; if there’s one thing you should be able to rely upon to know who you are it should be your own name, but perhaps not; three questions, and in each case the answer is philosophically interesting. The interest turns on the further question: “What is a person?”; and there is not only a right way to live, but also a right way to figure out what that is; and a book called Mixing It Up With The Simpsons has been sent to youth advisors in every diocese in England.
A review of Ancient Greece: From the Mycenaean Palaces to the Age of Homer by Sigrid Deger-Jalkotzy and Irene S. Lemos. A review of Portrait of a Priestess: Women and Ritual in Ancient Greece by Joan Breton Connelly. A review of Greek Colonisation: An Account of Greek Colonies and Other Settlements Overseas. The introduction to The State of Speech: Rhetoric and Political Thought in Ancient Rome by Joy Connolly. A review of Excess and Restraint: Propertius, Horace, & Ovid's Ars Amatoria. A review of Roman Pompeii: Space and Society by Ray Laurence. A review of Feeling History. Lucan, Stoicism, and the Poetics of Passion by Francesca D'Alessandro Behr. A review of Seeing Seneca Whole: Perspectives on Philosophy, Poetry and Politics by K. Volk by G.D. Williams.
Professors on the Battlefield: Where the warfare is more than just academic. Academics from both sides of the Atlantic and beyond have protested against the arrest of Berlin sociologist Andrej H. The researcher has been in jail for two weeks on suspicion of membership in a terrorist group. Your Virtual Ph.D.: No more pencils, no more books: With PopSci's guide to the best continuing-ed programs on the Web, you can lose the paper and still gain a grade-A education. Have Ph.D., will travel: Academia is increasingly dependent on flexible, part-time faculty. Sound and the Fury: When Gallaudet University hired a hearing football coach who knew no sign language, it was a clash of cultures. Two years later, the once-moribund program is making plenty of noise.
Miscellaneous: From TNR, a look at how copyright law could kill the fashion industry. Is there a scientific explanation for the human ability to use language? A review of The First Word: The Search for the Origins of Language by Christine Kenneally. From Wired's "The Luddite", a 21st-Century Elegy for a Paradise Lost. Funny Radio Personalities: Talk radio's funniest host detests liberals but loves the environment. As for the least-funny hosts, turn to the left. Is there room for humour in art? In this current climate, is it morally wrong for artists to be anything other than deadly serious? What happens if they just want to make us giggle.
From The Weekly Standard, Bam! A cover story on making sense of America's celebrity-chef culture. Since moving The Atlantic Monthly from Boston to Washington two years ago (after vowing not to), David Bradley has sought out — with an open checkbook — some of the Beltway's best and brightest. Facebook Grows Up: At 19, Mark Zuckerberg came up with a new way for college kids to connect—and started an online revolution. Now 23, he's trying to build out his business without losing its cool. A review of F5: Devastation, Survival, and the Most Violent Tornado Outbreak of the 20th Century by Mark Levine.
Who Killed the Love Story? An article on the lost art of making a great romantic movie. Far from romantic: A review of Robert Schumann: Life and Death of a Musician by John Worthen (and more). Sole survivors: Sandals are shaking off their nerdy image and desert boots are having another fashion moment. A review of Deluxe: How Luxury Lost its Luster by Dana Thomas. Ian Fleming Publications' decision to reanimate the late author's most famous creation, James Bond, in a novel by Sebastian Faulks to mark Fleming's centenary next year is the latest in a resurrection trade that has made literary estates some of the most powerful in the media. New free software puts the power of cybersleuthing in everybody’s hands. This might not be a good thing.
Miscellaneous: From Ovi, an essay on Western imperialism and the myth of secular salvation (and part 2). Immanuel Wallerstein on Nonproliferation: RIP. Profit or Principle? The West is back to engaging lucrative dictators. Life and the list: While many who live in Unesco world heritage sites find the distinction beneficial, pro-development parties may be frustrated by the restrictions. A look at the World’s Most Overhyped Vacation Spots. Tyrants' top 10, with a bullet: Stalin had a soft spot for Bobby Short. For Pol Pot, it was the king of pop. A review of Conundrums of Humanity: The Quest for Global Justice by Jonathan Power. Naomi Klein, author of The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism, on think tanks and battle tanks.
From Sign and Sight, of accidental careers and inner emigration: An interview with political scientist Gunnar Hinck about imbalances and incompetences among East German leaders. Confessions of a BBC liberal: The BBC has finally come clean about its bias, says a former editor, who wrote Yes, Minister. A review of Safe Area Gorazde: The War in Eastern Bosnia 1992-1995 by Joe Sacco. Christoph Bertram on why Weak America = Weakened Europe. David Rieff on the Kouchner conversion. Sarko's Gift to the Wealthy: France's new president has launched an assault on the welfare state. Reason's cunning: Poland's populist parties share many of their characteristics with those in other European countries. The difference in Poland is that the government consists solely of populist parties.
An interview with David Luban, author of Legal Ethics and Human Dignity, on Judge Mark Fuller. Bigot begone: The bad news is you're a biased voter. The good news is that you can acknowledge and correct for that, writes NYU's Dalton Conley. From Writ, a look at how Rove's and others' bad behavior suggests a set of golden rules for government, applicable regardless of which party is in charge. From National Journal, Rove Revisited: Carl Cannon on gaining some perspective on the legacy of The Architect. Trust Troubles: Low faith in government can make federal managers' jobs harder. Lend Me Your Earmarks: From pet projects to pocket-lining, influence-peddling, here is a surprising history lesson about the folks who first put the "patron" in "patronage." Citizen Bronstein: Why does the San Francisco Chronicle's editor want to emulate the pioneer of yellow journalism?
Miscellaneous: An interview with Mike Davis, author of Buda's Wagon: A Brief History of the Car Bomb. A review of The Islamist: Why I Joined Radical Islam in Britain, What I Saw Inside and Why I Left by Ed Husain. Research finds the most effective campaigns to encourage ethical consumption are those that take place at a collective level, such as the creation of Fairtrade cities, rather than those that target individual behaviour. People use the term "anarchy" recklessly. They might be surprised at what it actually means. The industry that time forgot: The Big Dig was no fluke — it was just another day at the office for the most wasteful, least productive industry in America. What's wrong with the $1 trillion construction business?
From PopMatters, a review of Instructions for American Servicemen in Iraq during World War II by The United States Army. Surviving prison rape: A review of Fish: A Memoir of a Boy in a Man’s Prison by T.J. Parsell. The transformative power of a good scrub: A review of Clean: A History of Personal Hygiene and Purity by Virginia Smith (and more). The first chapter from The Embedded Corporation: Corporate Governance and Employment Relations in Japan and the United States by Sanford M. Jacoby. The underworked American: Stop your whining: leisure time is on the rise. The Pantsuit Paradox: How do women signal power at the boys' club? From Popular Mechanics, an article on the 10 worst disasters of the last 101 years.
From Financial Times, Samuel Brittan on the crooked path of capitalism. Go Forth And Gentrify? So are "transitional" homebuyers guilty of class warfare? It's easy to talk about the downside of gentrification—high housing prices, evictions, and a creeping NIMBY-ism that elbows out social services. A review of The Cigarette Century: The Rise, Fall, and Deadly Persistence of the Product that Defined America by Allan M. Brandt. What did Paul really mean? "New perspective" scholars argue that we need, well, a new perspective on justification by faith. A look at the strange, modern cult of being busy. Women often emerge from the history of the American West as academic icons. After all, it was proto-feminists struggling against the frontier patriarchy who actually won the West, or so we're led to believe. An interesting set of studies recently looked into the role of situation in influencing “ethical” consumption.
Miscellaneous: From LiveScience, a look at history's most overlooked mysteries. A review of Geneses, Genealogies, Genres, and Genius: The Secrets of the Archive by Jacques Derrida. The Changing Artic: Alun Anderson responds to Freeman Dyson's "Heretical Thoughts". Vast ancient settlement found at Angkor Wat: Ground-sensing radar and aerial photographs of the area around the temple have revealed the largest pre-industrial settlement ever discovered. Cracking the Cube: A combination of mathematical analysis and supercomputer number-crunching proves that any Rubik's Cube can be solved in 26 moves or fewer. A review of Actual Ethics by James R. Otteson.
From Film & History, a review of "Pierre Bourdieu: Sociology is a Martial Art". A review of J K Galbraith: a 20th-Century Life by Richard Parker. An article on the 10 most puzzling ancient artifacts. How many grains of sand make a heap? An interview with Timothy Williamson on what vagueness is and why it matters. A review of Mistakes Were Made (But Not By Me): Why We Justify Foolish Beliefs, Bad Decisions, and Hurtful Acts by Carol Tavris and Elliot Aronson (and more). Done in by Voldemort: A review of Galileo, Antichrist: a Biography by Michael White. The first chapter from Paying the Tab: The Costs and Benefits of Alcohol Control by Philip J. Cook.
From TNR, a review of Garibaldi: Invention of a Hero by Lucy Riall. A review of Merit, Meaning, and Human Bondage: An Essay on Free Will by Nomy Arpaly. A review of Suffer and Survive: The Extreme Life of J.S. Haldane by Martin Goodman. Sweatology: The human cooling system may be leaky, but it’s efficient. Genius and Madness: An article on creativity and mood and the myth that madness heightens creative genius. A review of How Mathematicians Think: Using Ambiguity, Contradiction, and Paradox to Create Mathematics by William Byers. A review of Black Africans in Renaissance Europe. A review of Toxin: The Cunning of Bacterial Poisons by Alistair Lax. A review of The Periodic Table: Its Story and Significance by Eric R. Scerri.
From The Nation, two writers explore the perversion of our collective imagination and the ways that science and myth shape our understanding of spirituality: A review of Phantasmagoria by Marina Warner and Muses, Madmen, and Prophets: Rethinking the History, Science, and Meaning of Auditory Hallucination by Daniel B. Smith. An interview with Taner Edis, author of An Illusion of Harmony: Science and Religion in Islam. The introduction to The Mathematics of Egypt, Mesopotamia, China, India, and Islam: A Sourcebook. The first chapter from A Certain Ambiguity: A Mathematical Novel by Gaurav Suri and Hartosh Singh Bal. How to write the best novel in the world, ever: First, you must believe you are the best writer in the world ... And then vanquish the green-eyed monster, status envy. The sweet taste of trash lit: Sometimes, you can't help yourself. It might be rubbish, but you just can't put it down.
A review of The New Influencers: A Marketer's Guide to the New Social Media by Paul Gillin. Changing the Terms of Debate: Seven people with experience in both new media and old answer the question: What would a real new-media debate look like? The $23 Million Boa: Despite her huge payday, Mediabistro mastermind Laurel Touby still stands outside the press-gang elite. From The New York Observer, how does Perez Hilton, a.k.a. Mario Armando Lavandeira Jr., deal with the criticism of his bitchy eponymous gossip Web site? Customer Feedback 2.0 — Notes from Britannica’s electronic mailbag: "Your method is hard to understand. It is made by Geeks for Geeks". Take note: bloggers will change the world, and have already begun to do so.
Second Life's Real-World Problems: As this virtual colony grows, lawyers, tax men and troublemakers are crashing the party. Making Money in Second Life: Linden Lab's CFO John Zdanowski explains how the economy works in the virtual community. Virtual Depravity: How desperate are Second Life's cyber-lechers for a digital get-down? Radar investigates. The virtual generation: They are the most tech-savvy generation, finding expression and identity entwined in the real and virtual worlds. Jo Chandler steps into teenagers' symbiotic universes. Lifehacker 2.0: Millions of people are embracing the idea that life is as easily and productively modifiable as a Dell computer. A review of Core Memory: A Visual History of Vintage Computers by John Alderman.
From The Hindu, a special edition on Independent India at 60, including essays by Amartya Sen, Manmohan Singh, and more. From The Guardian's G2, a special issue on The New India. From Forbes, a special report on India At 60, including an essay by Amartya Sen. Shashi Tharoor on how the nation born 60 years ago today is built on a bold idea of difference — and an agreement that it's healthy to disagree. A miracle in Calcutta: Horace Alexander spent India's day of independence with Mahatma Gandhi in Calcutta—and watched him broker a miraculous peace between the city's warring Hindus and Muslims. With celebrations commemorating the country's 60th year since gaining independence from British rule already well underway, India is poised to enter a new era of economic expansion, led by a burgeoning class of young movers and skakers.
A review of Indian Summer: The secret history of the end of an Empire by Alex von Tunzelmann (and more). A review of Gandhi: the Man, His People and the Empire by Rajmohan Gandhi; The Great Partition: the Making of India and Pakistan by Yasmin Khan; and India Remembered by Pamela Mountbatten. A review of India After Gandhi: The History of the World's Largest Democracy by Ramachandra Guha. A review of Fantasies of a Bollywood Love Thief: Inside the World of Indian Moviemaking by Stephen Alter. Bollywood’s hegemony: Sixty years after Independence, the reach of popular Hindi cinema has left regional films and talented directors out in the cold. The Big Fat Indian Wedding: India's economic prosperity has brought a burgeoning of lavish ceremonies at astronomical cost. Will efforts to cap the wasteful spending succeed? India is both secular state and religious society. Where does Buddhism fit, and what can the Indian experience teach?
From Open Democracy, the violent territorial rupture of 1947 and its legacy reveal partition to be conceptually flawed and historically ill-grounded as a solution to political antagonism. Sixty Years of Freedom — and Animosity: Both Pakistan and India are celebrating six decades of independence from the British this week. But the reality of today is a far cry from the dreams of 1947. Despite their shared culture, cuisine and love for the game of cricket, India and Pakistan seem prepared to fight more wars. Pakistan at the Crossroads: Stability depends on restoring democracy and bringing prosperity to Pakistan, and an interview with former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. After the Raj: Cif bloggers write about India and Pakistan, 60 years after partition, including Partition's other anniversary: Bangladesh may have its independence, but there is still no freedom for its minorities. Always with us: An article on the intractability of South Asian poverty.
The introduction to Bourgeois Nightmares: Suburbia, 1870-1930 by Robert M. Fogelson. The city of Magadan in Russia's Siberia was built from nothing, by and for Stalin's slave army. In Germany, the town of Ramersdorf was built from scratch on the magnanimous whim of Adolph Hitler. And America's very own example of the fad was the West Virginia town of Arthurdale, constructed during 1933 on the magnanimous whim of Eleanor Roosevelt. Every decade, it seems, contains a single year that epitomizes its era. The Depression had 1933; the Sixties, 1968. In the Fifties, it was 1957, the year of the pill, Sputnik, Dr. Seuss, Little Rock, and more. Half a century later, U.S. News takes a look back. A review of America's Uncivil Wars: The Sixties Era from Elvis to the Fall of Richard Nixon by Mark Hamilton Lytle. A review of Confronting the New Conservatism: The Rise of the Right in America. A "Great Society" Conservative: Is the GOP going the way of LBJ?
From The Village Voice, the state pays for sex: How a mob-run S&M club put your tax dollars to work. A review of Wendy Shalit's Girls Gone Mild. Steven E. Landsburg on Sex, Sin, and Streetlights: Parsing hypocrisy, courtesy of Bob Allen. James Kirchick on why the Dems should shut up about gay marriage. An interview with Melinda Henneberger, author of If They Only Listened to Us: What Women Voters Want Politicians to Hear. Getting Beyond Roe: A review of The Politics of Abortion by Anne Hendershott. Contradicting earlier findings of a greater risk of ectopic pregnancy, a new report says the controversial abortion pill is as safe for women as surgical abortions. Just how legally viable is Maryland’s Viable Fetus Act? An article on equating stillbirths with murders.
A review of Embryo Culture: Making Babies in the Twenty-First Century by Beth Kohl. Blended families of Angelina and Madonna renown seem to make people anxious, raising questions about the nature of parental love. Do people have different feelings about their adoptive children and their offspring? Is parental love a natural or a conscious act? From Christianity Today, an article on the spirituality of potty training. Has childhood really changed that much? A review of Children At Play: An American History by Howard P. Chudacoff (and more). Abandoning or neglecting children is not acceptable. Neither is abandoning or neglecting our elders. Is not the end of life as valuable as the start? A Modest Proposal: For preventing the People of the United States from being a burden to their Government, and For Making Them Beneficial to The Public.